To Those She Left Behind

TrinaThis is a blog I wrote four years ago when my best friend of 32 years died of Ovarian Cancer.  It is the anniversary of her death tomorrow and I decided to share it once again, in remembrance.  Morbid, but we write what we know.  She was a grand soul who brought laughter to many lives.  R.I.P. my dearest friend.

Trina Diane Rodgers, an amazing soul was brought into this world on September 19, 1968. Trina fought the battle of a lifetime ,Ovarian Cancer, and finally gave up the fight on 18 October 2007. Trina leaves behind Aaron, her son; Rachel, her daughter, three sisters (Kim, Tabitha and Sue) , brother David, her mother and step-father, niece Maria and a family of friends, co-workers and school-mates. Trina, known by all for her sense of humor and resilient human-spirit even in the face of all odds, will be forever missed by all.

That’s the simple side of things. How do you sum up a person in 300 spaces or less? How do you tell the world how this person changed your life? How one person held such a large piece of your reality? Have you ever had a friend that you told all to? That knew every nook and cranny of your psyche and still loved you? That could tell by a sigh that something was on your mind. Trina and I talked at least 3 times per day. At work and after work. Either way..there was always something to talk about. Kids, marriage, death, work, cancer, fighting the odds, pain management, friends, love, sex, name it. She was a friend to all. She had an amazing spirit, free, humorous, and a positive outlook on life.

This one person who knew all my secrets, took them to the grave. The one person that wasn’t afraid to be honest, even when it hurt. To not agree no matter how bad I wanted her to. Thirty two years of friendship came down to just holding hands.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Not words to live by that’s for sure. Watching the friends come visit her, to hold her hand, to cry for the loss. To see her wonderful sister Kim hold so strong, for everyone else. Judi, sitting by her side, weeping softly, as she is the tender soul, the mother in all of us. Aaron, so young, so strong of spirit, wanting to pull the cancer out of her body, to make her whole again. She loved him so much, was so proud, wished him every success and wept at his self-inflicted pain, taking it as her own. Knowing without a doubt he would be successful, whole, loved. Wishing the best of all worlds for Rachel, the daughter she gave to a better life than she could offer so many years ago. Hearing her speak of the daughter she had not seen in so many years, with pride, protective mother instincts, love and longing for a different path.

Watching her through the years..fighting with her, loving each other, growing up and learning. She helped me find myself on many an occasion. She gave comfort to many without judgement.Trina in Scarf

She held out on love, waiting for Mr. Right. Passing Mr. Okay up many a time. Her hilarious laughter, we could always find a dose of that. She loved to dance. She learned to kick box. She learned to make the most fantastic no-nut banana bread. She learned tact and trust and love and forgiveness. She was a woman who learned to listen to her body, the world around her. She loved long hair and hated her hair short. She taught me to drink coffee and how to be a better friend. She found the love of painting (Bob Ross), her beautiful lab, Precious, another child to her.

So many memories, thousands in fact. I’m just finding it impossible to process this. Tonight I walked over to the phone to call tell her all the news. I remembered she would not answer.

I wish for one more hug, one more “what’s up my biotch?”. The void seems like it will swallow me whole right now. Where is that rewind button when you need it? How do I move forward when my feet seem to be frozen. When does the crashing wave of grief let me breathe?

She did not want us to mourn for her, but to celebrate all she did and what she lived for, LIFE. Don’t look back because tomorrow is here soon enough.

With love and deepest sadness I say goodbye to this amazing woman. I will forever miss you Trina, my dearest friend.


The Game of Life- 21st Century Update

My funny bone has healed somewhat and I’m ready to write a “bit”. Recently I played the game “Life”. It had been years, since I was a teenager, that we pulled that game out of the closet. My whole family used to play games, Yahtzee, Life, Parcheesi, Trivial Pursuit. That was about the same time Nintendo hit the market, when no one could afford to buy it and kids still played outside all day. Yeah..and wagons were a common site in our Amish village.

I fondly remember the game, we used to fight over the color cars and lose count as to who’s turn it was. Vivid memories of freaking my father out when I put a new spin on the family game and took a pink peg as my “spouse”. The fun I had with that reaction.

For those who don’t remember the game (you must be about 10 yrs old then) it’s a board game where you move through various life events (marriage, buying a house, babies, paydays, winning lotteries, trees falling on cars, night school, more babies, insurance claims, taxes, etc) Pretty on target for the 60’s – 80’s eras. Well we have come a long way baby and a few suggestions on updating the game came up while playing. Ideas that seemed to more in tune with families today. Just keeping it “real”.

You car is hit by a meteor or unknown alien vessel and is NOT covered by insurance because you don’t have Geico
Your spouse has an affair with the groomer
You discover your spouse is on “the down low” and wearing your clothes
Teen pregnancies (multiples)
You are carjacked for your 1980 Honda Accord, again, no Geico, pay 5,000 to replace the stereo
You loose 45,000 a year job due to downsizing, and start selling crack for 90,000
Get treatment for chlamydia at free clinic, no charge
Your drunk neighbor falls on your porch and sues you for 100,000, you pay 200,000
Get second mortgage to pay for community college for oldest daughter (50,000)
Pay for counseling for son, he thinks he is IN a video game (pay 5,000)
Sex change operation for son (therapy was a bust) pay 100,000
Pay for therapy for father after son’s surgery (6,000)
Choose career as Teacher (35,000 annual pay)
Daughter becomes a stripper (1,000 a night).
Your life becomes a reality show and is cancelled after third season (250,000) your friends now hate you
Breast Augmentation, pay 15,000 or do it cheap for 8,000
Join Jenny Craig for 12 weeks pay 2,000
Life is it large!

Phone Calls to the Living

I’m busy…so busy I have time to watch “Burn Notice” and type a blog while sipping Kool-Aide and sitting on my couch. Did I mention I went tanning tonight…and in a conventional bed to boot (20 minutes). That is what I call my “personal time”.

Did you know that “time” wears roller blades and can move 75% faster then the average human being? I mean, it’s always getting away from me.

Plans, lots of them, chores, painting that picture, finishing an art project, getting a pedicure, having lunch with a friend, paying an overdue bill. Poof! You plan and then time speeds up, whipping right by you with a wink and a wave.

There are friends I have planned on calling each day for the last 44 days. Each day I wake up and say, I’m going to call Tonya or Stacy, and then “Poof!” there goes that biatch Time. Well now 45 days have passed, Tonya has forgotten my name and Stacy is working on her second marriage. Then this little voice in my head says, “tomorrow”. I want to snuff that little voice out.

My dog needed a vet check for a problem ear, well 3-weeks later and 293.00, he was diagnosed with a terrible ear infection. Actually the vet suggested that he might have allergies and needed a higher grade food. Of course, being the conscientious pet owner, I ran out and bought a 50.00 bag of dog food.

There I go, off on a tangent. That is another story, pets. Time, she is NOT my friend. Because of her my hair has silver strands sticking out at odd angles and the word “frizz” has entered my hair care vocabulary. My breasts no longer even resemble perky and are starting to look like depressed cantaloupes.

When a woman walks by me with what appear to be firm breasts I disdainfully comment about her boob job. Jealousy is also a new bitch in my life…again, another tangent and blog.

Time and phone calls. I truly intend to call the people I love, to take care of important details, to go to the gym, take the dogs for a walk, paint the house, create a plan for world peace and learn to like carrots, but TIME escapes me. It’s a cosmic joke beyond simple human understanding. It reminds me of playing hopscotch. You skip over the squares to land in the spot with the rock…unsteadily you bend on one leg to pick up that token..precariously balanced for those few moments.

Life and time seem to operate like this on a routine basis. So the next time you see Time, please tell her to stand still for a little while. Even if you have to wrangle her to the ground and hogtie her, do it. I have no desire to get much older or my breasts to end up like a second set of knees. Oh, and kindly ask her if she has a friend called Rewind. I need to borrow them too.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Hiya, Hello and Welcome Aboard. I’ve been thinking (which has been known to cause certain natural phenomenon to occur) that life is so much easier with some laughter thrown in. It’s like putting ketchup on your green beans (eggs for me). It covers up the icky taste and adds color to boot.

There are so many things that occur that you could cry, curse or take out a hit for, in life. My daughter let it be known that she was pregnant at 18 and still in high school. I gave her a big hug, cried for 5 minutes in private, proceeded to worry myself sick then realized there was a whole world to be had making fun of her growing belly. So I get a little kick out of telling her horror stories and what’s coming stories. Love the look of half horror and half disbelief on her face. In her/my defense she is a smart, beautiful girl who never believes a thing I say after I told her speckled eggs come from chickens with yeast infections.

Laughter..let it ring, peel, guffaw, roar, chuckle or chickle.  There’s a guy at work with the kind of laugh that makes you echoes through your head, causing your heart to palpitate. I  had my phone out to record him one day then thought better of it…it might be considered a felony to fellow laughers. But again, either way it comes out, laughter makes the world go round..

Most people will not commit violent crimes while’s hard to holdup a liquor store when you’re belly laughing. Laughter is yawning, but louder. Some say it adds years to your life..hell I’m wishing it helped erase wrinkles..I can buy the years.

When my mom died my dad kept telling people he had “lost” her. I looked at my sister and in my morbid sense of humor burst out laughing. Where the hell did he loose her? Aisle 4 at the grocery store? At the mall? Was there some kind of lost and found we could pick her up from? Very morbid..but it got my sis and I through that first day..